Skip to main content

The Ghost Train

Movies Preview

The Ghost Train

Published 1941

Mismatched travellers are stranded overnight at a lonely rural railway station. They soon learn of local superstition about a phantom train which is said to travel these parts at dead of night, carrying ghosts from a long-ago train wreck in the area.
The travelers eventually get to the bottom of the things that go bump in the night. In between the scary bits, comedian Arthur Askey plays the gags with his Vaudeville style humor.

Run time 85 min.
Producer Edward Black
Production Company Gainsborough Pictures
Audio/Visual sound, black & white
Contact Information


Reviewer: katperrr - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 1, 2013
Subject: Arthur Askey
Just recently learned of Arthur Askey and thoroughly enjoy his films.
Reviewer: webboffin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 21, 2011
Subject: I just tea urned the gas on!
Great comedic film noir style movie. Arthur Askey as Tommy Gander that annoying jesting little twerp who keeps getting under the skin of Peter Murray-Hill who plays Richard Winthrop a serious demeanored strongly built gentleman.
Tommy Gander pulls the emergency cord on the travelling steam train so bringing it to a halt and he runs outside to collect his hat that fell off from a window. Causing the train to be late on the arrival at Fal Vale station they miss their connection and no more trains are running that night so are stranded at the rustic and rather bleak train station just as bad weather comes in. The station master wanting to see the passengers off his station trys to scare them away with the story of the Ghost Train but fails.
From this point the story unfolds about the Ghost Train and what is actually going on.
Richard Murdoch who plays sarcastic Teddy Deakin adds at times to Tommy Gander tom foolery particularly earlier in the movie while on the train trying to win the attention of very attractive but dignified Jackie Winthrope played by Carole Lynne.
A great movie to watch from World War II Britain era. Yes the comedy style is rather north England music hall variety so it should make this film more endearing to see how things used to be.
The characters are played well from grumpy "jobsworth" train station master; the lifeless couple Herbert and Edna and the staid spinster Miss Bourne and not forgetting the piss head Doctor Sterling. A couple of other characters come in that lead the story towards it's twist and ultimate conclusion.

The Ghost Train is public domain so is no longer copyrighted. A worthy movie to my DVD collection.
Clean fun and only has one scene of suggested violence is a gun shoot though no actual injury is pictured.
Reviewer: Dark Moon - favorite - May 14, 2011
Subject: Circus phreak!!

The way they wrote Arthur Askey's character for this, what else could such a little runt be? After all, he's already a comic; ridicule is his trade, isn't it? Doesn't he already trade on stereotypes about short people? Has anyone ever pointed out that part of the comedy chemistry between Bud Abbott and Lou Costello was the excitable and irritable short guy paired with the tall straight guy?

Note that all the rest of the cast, as well as one of the reviewers below ("that annoying little man"), reckon his size as part of his obnoxiousness. It's just another sort of BIGOTRY, but one that hasn't received as much air time as some of the others.

[update] picklesack writes (quoted for truth):

Subject: Arthur is dead so I will speak.
What a revolting person you are Dark Moon. I wonder if you would be as quick to criticize the gentleman if he had been of a colour that you did not like.

Are you sure I'm promulgating the bigotry, instead of protesting it? I'm criticizing the screenwriters who played the stereotype and bigotry for a cheap laugh. Sorry if my sarcasm was not quite obvious to everyone. In case you are still in doubt, as a male standing at only 5' 3", I've definitely had my share.
Reviewer: splue - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 14, 2011
Subject: u do not want 2 b in a ghost train
take my word 4 it
Reviewer: picklesac - - May 14, 2011
Subject: Arthur is dead so I will speak.
What a revolting person you are Dark Moon. I wonder if you would be as quick to criticize the gentleman if he had been of a colour that you did not like.
Reviewer: doowopbob - - January 2, 2011
Subject: ,,,NO AUDIO..
Reviewer: picfixer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 3, 2010
Subject: Tickets please!
A first-class suspense mystery that is dragged down a peg by the miscasting of Arthur Askey. The faults are in the script and the character he plays, an annoying twit, not his abilities. (see cast notes) The rest of the performances are fine, and once you get past Askey's over-the-top carrying on, you should find this to be an engaging thriller. If some plot elements stretch credulity a bit, remember this really is a… er, I can't tell what it really is without being a spoiler. So just turn down the lights, and enjoy this British old dark house mystery played out in a train station.

CAST NOTES: I'm an Arthur Askey fan, and if you check out these other films here at IA, you might become fans too: "Back Room Boy," "Miss London, Ltd" and "King Arthur Was a Gentleman." The first two are the picks of this unfortunately small litter.
A familiar face in "The Ghost Train" cast, and one of my faves, is the parrot lady, Miss Bourne, played by Kathleen Harrison. She will be recognized by many as Scrooge's housekeeper, Mrs. Dilber, in "A Christmas Carol" (1951), and as the jilted maiden aunt, Rachel Wardie, in "The Pickwick Papers" (1952). Miss Harrison's last film role was in 1979. She passed away in 1995, at the age of 103.
Reviewer: kareneliot - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 26, 2010
Subject: Six of one, 1/2 a dozen of the other
I am torn on this film. I really liked it quite a bit, EXCEPT for that annoying little man. He annoyed me so much that I wanted someone to throw him in front of a train.

It's a great little mystery - if I just could have gotten past Arthur Askey being in it.
Reviewer: Albert Schlef - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 26, 2010
Subject: A gem!
This film is a gem. Top notch!
Reviewer: JonathanDP - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 2, 2010
Subject: Great little wartime horror/comedy
This is a charming film and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It takes a bit to get going, but the light tone and fun characters make it never slow. I enjoyed Arthur Askey's performance, but I must say it should be spectacularly annoying to be in the same room as his character. It's fun to watch the old-time rapid-fire comedy of vaudeville. The plot is typical classic era of film silly but it makes for a nice watching experience.
Reviewer: norfolkman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 31, 2010
Subject: Background on The Ghost Train
For our American friends, here is a little background that you may not be aware of.
The Ghost Train was originally written as a play by Arnold Ridley (Later best known as Private Godrey in Dad's Army).
Arthur Askey and Richard Murdoch who both star in this film were a comedy partnership who, at the time the film was made were probably the most poplular comedy duo on British radio. Both started in British Music Hall as did the majority of comedians before the war. The 'over the top' antics of Arthur Askey stem from the Music Hall tradition where an artiste performed to the back of the house. I just watch this film and enjoy it for what it is...Enjoying!!!
Reviewer: Carolyn Blake - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2010
Subject: A great period piece
This is a little gem. From my American view, it is a charming look into the cinema culture of WWII era England. We get to spend a dark and stormy night with a collection of quirky characters trapped together in a train station, waiting for the dreaded ghost train. The character played by Richard Askey was a bit over the top, and though I had never seen him before, I had the sense he was well loved at that time. I did a bit of research on him and indeed he was a large figure in English comedy from that era. It's a nicely done mystery too with some genuinely tense moments, beautiful production, and is quite unpredictable -- the end comes as a very satisfying surprise.
Reviewer: babe917 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 15, 2009
Subject: the ghost train
i just joined archive tonight & just saw the ghost train & i found it a very compelling movie! i enjoyed it alot! great acting, great plot, & yeah i can see parts of this in scooby doo episodes.

it was a great joy to watch! great mystery-suspense film!
Reviewer: SonOfChaos - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 19, 2009
Subject: A Great piece of cinema.
If I was to describe this film in one word I'd say 'Scooby-Doo'. Undoubtedly this film when qualify as one of the best episodes of the series, and I would not be surprised in the least.

This is one of those rare films that truly is solid on multiple levels. The characters are believable, the production is excellent, acting of high quality and very well written. I suspect that some modern viewers today my find the comedian in the film a bit over the top, perhaps he could be best described as a prototype of Jim Carey's comedic style, but otherwise a great piece full of ghost stories.
Reviewer: skilpad - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 26, 2009
Subject: Good Film
A fairly enjoyable film. Although, Tommy Gander's (Arthur Askey)performance is a bit over the top and can be annoying at times. Good use of suspense and the plot wasn't too predictable.

Notice the change of change of the fire arm used to shoot the singing ghost near the end. It appears as if the shooter swopped his gun.

Aside from the Tommy Gander Vaudeville style humor it's an easy film to watch.
Reviewer: billbarstad - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 10, 2009
Subject: I hate Arthur Askey!
Eight travelers stranded overnight in a haunted train station, one of them an extremely annoying vaudevillian, deal with their predicament as is expected in wartime Britain. All but two are unaware of the intrigue surrounding them. I really enjoyed watching it.

I downloaded the 699MB DivX file, which is actually an AVI. Video and audio are fine.
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Sci-Fi / Horror
by Edward Black
eye 48,273
favorite 29
comment 6
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 6 reviews )
Feature Films
by Edward Black
eye 10,314
favorite 6
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Comedy Films
by Edward Black
eye 17,558
favorite 19
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Comedy Films
by Edward Black
eye 8,144
favorite 13
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Comedy Films
by Edward Black
eye 10,521
favorite 18
comment 5
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 5 reviews )
Feature Films
by Edward Black
eye 18,000
favorite 31
comment 16
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 16 reviews )
Comedy Films
by Edward Black
eye 4,258
favorite 6
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Comedy Films
by Edward Black
eye 27,382
favorite 17
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Comedy Films
by Edward Black
eye 5,970
favorite 12
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Sci-Fi / Horror
eye 73,856
favorite 66
comment 22
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 22 reviews )